ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Albuquerque commuters are scratching their heads as more construction begins near the just-launched Paseo del Norte-Interstate 25 project.
This time it's along Alameda Boulevard NE stretching east from San Pedro Drive.
The city says this was the plan all along.
“It’s very crowded! I have to really plan out what I'm doing and where I'm going, and I usually try to work my way around it,” said Kelly Whitson, a commuter who frequents the Paseo and I-25 area.
Just a few days in and the complaints are already pouring in.
With construction moving full steam ahead on Paseo, the city is moving forward with a storm drainage project on Alameda at San Pedro. Drivers say it’s a clear problem as they look to avoid Paseo and I-25 by using Alameda east of the drainage project.
“With this Paseo project, Alameda is bad, Osuna is bad, Second is bad,” commuter Kim Magarronez said. “So there is no place to go. You're kind of stuck on Paseo”
But city officials didn't see the Alameda project as a problem, and they insist there's still a good way to use Alameda as a way to avoid the I-25/Paseo mess.
“You can still get to San Pedro, utilize that signal (at Alameda) and get onto Alameda,” Albuquerque’s Director of Municipal Development Michael Riordan said.
Rather than heading west on Paseo to the construction zone at I-25, drivers from the east can reach San Pedro by several streets bypassing the closed section of Alameda and then head north or south to the open section that connects to I-25.
In fact, this was the city's goal, to free up westbound Alameda before work began on Paseo.
“We've had a plan in place,” Riordan said. “All construction that we thought would affect traffic on Paseo is complete or put off until Paseo is done.”
KRQE News 13 also found road work on Unser Boulevard NW, a path for northwest commuters to hit Interstate 40 and avoid I-25 and Paseo. That's a project to add two lanes between Paseo and Rainbow that's also affecting already frustrated commuters.
To avoid additional headache, the city has put a hold on major traffic projects on Montaño, Osuna, Second, Fourth and Jefferson.
“When construction is happening, all of these roads should be open for traffic to alleviate some of the congestion at Paseo and I-25,” Riordan said.
“You have to be patient,” Magarronez said. “I think once this is done, it’s really going to help the backups everywhere.”
The Paseo project is scheduled to be completed next December. Work along Alameda should be finished by March. The Unser project should be done next week.
The city says the only way construction will happen on any other major roadways would be due to an emergency, such as a water main break.
More from KRQE.com:
After getting out of federal prison early this week it looks like former state Sen. Manny Aragón isn't at a halfway house after all. He's back at his own house in the South Valley.
The owner and an employee of a local smoke shop are in federal custody accused of selling spice at the Rio Rancho store.
The New Mexico State Police officer who fired his weapon at van filled with kids during a traffic stop gone bad has been fired.
The civil case filed against former cop Levi Chavez in the gunshot death of his wife is coming to an end without a trial.
Could there be a serial dog snatcher in Roswell?
New Mexico is at the beginning of a deep freeze, and state officials are paying close attention.